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German exports fall more than expected in August

(Reuters) -German exports fell more than expected on the month in August, federal statistics office data showed on Thursday, as weak global demand hurt the country's exports. Exports fell 1.2% in August from the previous month, data showed, compared with a forecast 0.4% decline in a Reuters poll. August was the second month in a row to see a decline in exports, following a downward-revised 1.9% dip in July. ING economist Carsten Brzeski said cooling global demand was worsening structural problems. "As a result, trade is no longer the strong resilient growth driver of the German economy that it used to be, but rather a drag," he said, adding that the export figures add to the risk of the economy sliding into recession in the third quarter. Imports also unexpectedly fell by 0.4% on the month, the data showed. They had been forecast to increase by 0.5%. The foreign trade balance showed a surplus of 16.6 billion euros ($17.45 billion) in August, versus an upwardly revised surplus of 17.7 billion euros the previous month. Besides China, exports to almost all destinations relevant for German companies were down in August, with a marked 2.6% decline in euro zone exports and exports to the United States falling by 1.3%. Exports to China were up 1.2%, the office said.

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